Corradini comes home encouraged
April 28, 2009
It will be a few weeks or maybe even a few months before women ski jumpers around the world know if they’ll be competing in next year’s Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver but in the meantime, things are looking good.
Just ask Deedee Corradini, president of Women’s Ski Jumping USA and leading advocate for the jumpers. Corradini has a unique perspective on this whole debacle, having served as mayor when Salt Lake City received its bid for the 2002 Games.
When representatives of the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) presented their testimony they said that they have no control over how the Games are run down to the day-to-day operations. VANOC claims International Olympic Committee (IOC) controls everything.
But Corradini remembers back to the days that Salt Lake was preparing for their Olympics. Salt Lake was far less dependent on money or decisions coming from the federal government than Vancouver. In contrast, the Canadian government is financing its Games and has appointed many of its leaders, and so Corradini feels that government is very much a part of the daily preparations for the Olympics.
"They are controlled by government"’ she said. "Everything to do with the Olympics is paid by the Canadian government."
And such is the battle the women waged last week to prove that the VANOC is quasi-government controlled and therefore controlled by the constitution of Canada.
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The women are just waiting on British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon, who listened to a week’s worth of testimony from the jumpers and VANOC and now has 17 volumes of testimony, case studies and other documents to wade through before she will award her decision.
If she does decide in favor of the jumpers though, it looks like it will be an all-or-nothing situation. Corradini said that VANOC has said they will comply with the decision and tell the IOC that they can either hold a ski jumping competition for both genders or non at all.
"We’re cautiously optimistic," Corradini said. "We feel as though we have a solid case legally."
And if the women do win the case, it looks like the IOC will comply.
IOC president Jacques Rogge wrote a letter to World Champion ski Jumper Lindsey Van of Park City recently, telling her "I have faith in the Canadian court system."
Corradini said she interprets that comment to mean, whatever the court decides, the IOC will abide by.